Regarding "Grieving in the media spotlight" (Feb. 25, Opinion): I am revolted by the media mentality that thinks it is important or decent to ask how individuals feel about heinous crimes that have been inflicted on their mother, father, child, sibling, or spouse. The mentality is part of the syndrome, which some of the public shares with reporters, that they have a "right to know" everything.
We have no right to know about people's private feelings and relationships unless they impinge in some important way upon the larger population. I always want to cheer when a public figure tells a reporter "It's none of your business," when asked a personal question.
Journalists have no "right" to shine a light on private lives, unless there is good reason to believe criminal or other illegal acts of some kind are being hidden.
Regarding "A tax cut or rent? For unemployed it's a no-brainer" (Feb. 26): I wanted to express my gratitude for this article. I am one of those qualified unemployed whose unemployment-insurance benefits run out in March. My experience, and what I've heard from other job seekers, substantiates the article. We all know the experience - the closed doors, the great abyss into which résumés and cover letters fall, and the inability to get in touch with a real person. But perhaps those who are still employed haven't gotten a real picture of the problem their ex-co-workers are facing.
Perhaps some of the House representatives negotiating the extension of unemployment-insurance benefits will read this and get a better picture of the human impact of their actions.
Sher Orpen Butler
Regarding "In a small Ohio town, a fight over the right to knock on doors" (Feb. 26): I support laws that restrict solicitors, and believe such laws protect both parties. What happens if solicitors knock on a door, and run into someone who harms them? It is not just a question of protection for residents, but for those who are soliciting. And at least having solicitors register gives cities an idea of who is out there soliciting.
Personally, I find solicitors offensive whether they are on the phone, or at my door. If I want to purchase a newspaper, or learn about a religion, I know where to find them. But I support having solicitors obtain permits so long as the law isn't aimed at race, gender, or religion.
San Leandro, Calif.
The note regarding the merger of Echostar and the Hughes Electronics subsidiary DirectTV (Feb. 27, News in Brief) notes that "opponents" of this transaction are concerned that a satellite monopoly will be the end result if the merger is approved. A monopoly like the cable-TV industry?
The merger is a great idea. It would produce an actual rival to the cable industry and its high rates. We would surely be better off with another entry into the television arena, so we can have a choice. Failure of this merger may lead to the demise of one of the two satellite firms.
Regarding "Islamic militancy in Central Asia" (Feb. 28, Books): As Westerners read books such as "Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia" to understand the downtrodden Muslims, who is writing books to sell to the Muslim world explaining that the West is not all about making money and that it, too, has downtrodden individuals?
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